Third Party & Independents Archives

The Two Party System versus Reality and Common Sense

To those who may think that the two party system is working right. To those who may think that the ballot restrictions on third parties in this country are correct because it upholds the two party system which is representative. I offer you the following.

Race: Asian, Hispanic, White, Black, Native American, Arab

Religion: Agnostic, Judaism, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Atheist, Buddhism, Sihkism, Scientology (and many of these can be breaken down into further sects, and I realize I am probably leaving some religions out as well)

Economics: Homeless, poverty stricken, poor, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, well off, rich, millionaires club, billionaires club

Age: 18 - 25, 26-35, 36 - 50, 51 - 70, over 70

Sex: Male or Female

Sexuality: Heterosexual or Homosexual

Marital Status: single, divorced, married

Education Level: Illiterate, less than elementary, less than middle school, less than high school, high school graduate, some college coursework, two year degree, four year degree, some post graduate coursework, post graduate degree, some doctoral work, doctorate, multiple post graduate or doctoral degrees

Areas of the country: New England, East Coast, Midwest, South, Deep South, Southwest, Northwest, West Coast

Job: Unemployed, underemployed, blue collar worker non-union, blue collar worker unionized, white collar non-management private sector, white collar non-management non-profit, white collar middle management private sector, white collar middle management non-profit sector, small business owner, upper management private sector, upper management non-profit sector, investor / large business owner

Place of living: remote rural, rural, small town, town, small city, suburbs, city, large city

The United States is a diverse country, yet our diversity is not represented in the two party system. Two world viewpoints cannot represent the diversity that is America, until we learn this we will be left with the same old options. This will leave many of us without a voice because quite simply America does not only have two voices, no matter how much the two party duopoly tries to portray this false reality.

Posted by Richard Rhodes at December 2, 2006 6:33 AM
Comments
Comment #197403

The problem is more fundamental than a two party duopoly.

The two party duopoly, Gerrymandering, FOR-SALE government, blocked access for third parties to ballots, etc., are each only symptoms of a more fundamental root problem, are unlikely to ever be resolved without an educated electorate who must learn to recognize the root problem (themselves), so that enough voters will learn to stop continually rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

So, education is needed, and voters will get their education one way or another.
The smart, less painful way, Or the hard, painful way.
The choice is up to the voters.

Many problems endlessly debated here, and on blogs nation-wide, are symptoms of a more fundamental problem.
Solutions for ALL of these symptoms are futile without education to recognize and address the fundamental root problem.
That root problem will eventually become clear to most Americans.
Their education is already in the pipeline.
But will it arrive soon enough (if ever)?
We are not invincible.
If we keep on crappin’ in our own nest, the bough will finally break, and we will have to learn the hard, painful way.
How bad could it get?
A recession next year?
Another Great Depression?
Worse?

Posted by: d.a.n at December 2, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #197406

Richard,

The real problem is having a strong 3rd party.

Germany tried a party for all different views and ended up with over 300 political parties the year that they elected Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist Party.

If we condensed all the fractious “splinter” parties (impossible), perhaps a strong 3rd party would eventually emerge.

But don’t lose hope. There will be a strong 3rd party soon. According to statistics, by the year 2052, there will be no majority race in America. When the minorities of today realize that, it’s only a matter of time before they realize that they could have real representation and real power in our government…and form a powerful 3rd party.

Posted by: Jim T at December 2, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #197407

Richard, the increases in Independent voters and the shrinking numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans is an event now occurring and which is long overdue.

I find this fact a source of optimism which I have not experienced in American politics in decades. There are also a number of Independent Party organizations created in the last couple years. Too, a very optimistic sign.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #197413

The question is can a 3rd party make it to the national level without selling out to big business and special interest groups.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 2, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #197417
David R,. Remer wrote: Richard, the increases in Independent voters and the shrinking numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans is an event now occurring and which is long overdue.

David,
That’s a good sign.
That means some voters are getting educated.
The voters’ education is inevitable.
Let’s just hope enough voters get educated As Soon As Possible; before it’s too late.

Those that understand need to help energize their friends, family, and associates.

Ignorance is not an excuse.

One of the best ways to get peoples’ attention is to simply show them what they should be outraged about, how they are being used, and how their fellow citizens are being used and abused.

For instance, the U.S. currently has a back-log of veterans (about 200,000 reported on CNN) that are not geting adequate medical attention. But, Halliburtons’ checks aren’t late, are they?

This is a disgrace. Especially when so many veterans go without adequate care while our CONGRESS is doing this. Our troops deserve MUCH better.

Yes, government is disgracefully irresponsible.

But, it is the voters that sit by and do nothing, bringing more pain and misery upon themselves and their fellow citizens, by continually rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 2, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #197423

Just having a third party will not solve all our problems. No matter how it starts, a third party has or claims a set of principles. Each of us as individuals may agree or disagree with these principles.

This is exactly the way we each react to the 2 parties. In general, we join a party that has, or rather follows, principles we agree with. Those who do not agree with either party, consider themselves independent.

Independents are neither better or worse, smarter or stupider than Democrats and Republicans. Independents may join a third party and become disillusioned, just as they have been disillusioned with the current 2 parties.

There is no political panacea. Fight for what you believe in within one of the parties.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at December 2, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #197428

Paul, the hope for America’s improvement lies with the growing numbers of Independent voters who no longer give their loyalty to any party, but, to candidates who will represent the people’s concerns and solve the nation’s problems without compromise to party leadership and the politics of party power dominance.

Political Parties in America, if this last turn of events in elections from 1994 to 2006 are any indication, are on the wane. The Majority of Americans have no faith in either of the major political parties, for their candidates almost without exception put their party’s power before the nation’s needs, and the needs of the people.

That is the education D.a.n refers to, and he is quite right to state that is the education that must grow and dominate the decisions of voters in elections to come, if America is to save herself from the neglect and dereliction of duty displayed and ever more evident by her Republican and Democratic Parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #197435

“Germany tried a party for all different views and ended up with over 300 political parties the year that they elected Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist Party.”

a seat threshold, properly applied, would have - and does - prevent this from occurring.

“There is no political panacea. Fight for what you believe in within one of the parties.”

this is self-evident… and yet, bares no relevance to the situation in which we currently find ourselves. simply because there is no cure-all certainly is no preclusion of our finding a *better* way (and there certainly *are* better ways).

you seem to be suggesting that because we cannot solve all our problems in one fell swoop, we should make no effort at all. illogical.

it is the purpose of these two parties to convince us of exactly that - that we should give up hope and fall in (party) line. this is because they are self-propagating and self-concerned.

these parties are living entities which have become more interested in their own success, their own concerns, than those of the nation, en masse. they know they would be marginalized in a multiparty system… thus, they will never allow it.


Posted by: Diogenes at December 2, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #197445
Paul Siegel wrote: There is no political panacea. Fight for what you believe in within one of the parties.

No, that is the lazy way. Learn to do your thinking for yourself.

It is best to ignore party as much as possible (if not altogether).

Consider the individual candidates’ quailifications.

NOT just party.

Don’t pull the party lever like some brainwashed dim-wit. That’s exactly what each party wants. That way, they vast majority of incumbent politicians can make their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies more secure. That’s why 90% of all incumbents retain their incumbencies in Congress decade after decade. That’s why they ignore you. That’s why it doesn’t matter which party you vote for. Which ever party it is, they will abuse their power. They always do. The two party duopoly just take turns gettin’ theirs, votin’ themselves cu$hy perk$ and rai$e$, paddin’ their golden parachutes, and makin’ their incumbencies ever more secure. You don’t matter. And why should they care, when you keep rewarding them by re-electing them, over and over?

Don’t be seduced by the circular, distracting, petty, partisan spin and warfare. Yes, it is hard to do, but learn to think for yourself, and stop taking the easy route and letting a party do it for you.

Look at EACH candidate, and THEIR vote record.

If they are irresponsible or advocate against your beliefs, then stop rewarding and empowering them by repeatedly re-electing them.

That is the right thing to do.

That is what the voters were supposed to be doing all along; always.

Anything else is a lazy and settling for mediocrity (or worse), which is why this nation’s problems keep going ignored, and Do-Nothing Congress refuses to pass any common-sense, no-brainer reforms.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 2, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #197504

Many of you continually say that education of the voters is the primary way for the people to gain control of their government. If you are going to depend on the education system to accomplish this for you, you are going to have a long wait. I agree that voter apathy and lack of education is the cause of government for the special interests. All of my adult life, I have watched the rich and powerful pit the middle class against the poor and the non-union workers against the union workers. Divide and conquer has always been their game and it has worked quite well.

In my opinion, if you want to educate the voters and potential voters then you should consider some old fashioned pamphleteering at the grassroots and internet level. You need a Thomas Paine or a few of them. This means expending some cash for pamphlets and to advertise your pamphlet site on the most frequently visited web sites.

You have to take the lead in educating the voters and you have to be prepared to deal with a wave of powerful propoganda aimed at you. Otherwise, you will have to do as Dan insinuates. wait on the next great depression.

Posted by: jlw at December 3, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #197537
jlw wrote: In my opinion, if you want to educate the voters and potential voters then you should consider some old fashioned pamphleteering at the grassroots and internet level. You need a Thomas Paine or a few of them. This means expending some cash for pamphlets and to advertise your pamphlet site on the most frequently visited web sites.

You’re right. That type of very thing is being done, and some more is planned. More communications of all kinds (web-sites, blogs, snail mailing, E-Mailing, news-letters, bumper/window stickers, etc.) are all part of the strategy. But it costs money, and that is always a struggle. The two-party duopoly have an advantage, but it doesn’t guarantee success. Just as some Republicans after the last Nov-2006 election.

Education is the key.

But, people need to get involved.
People can’t wait for someone else to do it.
If they do, it may be too late.

Already, there are a growing number of people that understand that education is the first key step, and the growing number of their web-sites and organizations is evidence of it. Also, at the moment, the numbers of independents are growing. Also, there are a growing number of third-party coalitions.

They understand that it will (most likely) have to be a grassroots effort, because few (if anyone) with vast amounts of money are motivated to support an independent or third party.

But, do not underestimate the independent swing voters. They CAN and DO decide elections, even if the are not a single party. A large number of independents definitely had an impact on the last election. And, if this Do-Nothing CONGRESS continues to fail, the numbers leaving the two-party duopoly will grow larger. Clearly, lots of voters left the Republican party. Unfortunately, they still re-elected too many irresponsible , bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way incumbent politicians, so it’s doubtful that this Congress will accomplish much before the next election in 2008.

The main message is just plain comon sense:

    Stop rewarding and empowering irresponsible incument politicians by repeatedly re-electiong them.

Don’t be a lazy, brainwashed dimwit that merely pulls the party-lever, without any idea about those you keep re-electing, or their voting records.

If you look closely at their voting records, all the pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, and waste, few (if any) deserve to be re-elected.

At any rate, voters will get their education one way or another.
It’s already in the pipeline.
The longer voters wait, the more unhappy they (and their children) will be later.
They can learn the smart way, or the hard way , but they will learn.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 3, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #197594

Richard et al, I started working this discussion into the post I just wrote, but it wasn’t flowing smoothly. I find it immensely frustrating that so many libertarians, greens, etc would rather attempt to be a strong minority in one of the two existing parties, rather than help get the third parties into contention. The comments by d.a.n. and David are the silver lining for me at this point - thank you for that.

Posted by: Wulf at December 3, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #197616

The Libertarian Party has been around for 35 years now, and they still haven’t elected a Congressman, nor elected a State Legislator in over 15 years.

I’ve been in and out of the LP for 22 years. I can tell you Libertarians have tried everything imaginable to reach out to voters. It ain’t working. They only elected 6 individuals to local offices this year, out of 600. This is down from their standard 15 to 20 in an election cycle.

If the LP can’t break the two-party monopoly nobody can. It’s a clear sign that at least for libertarians, the best option might be acting as a Caucus within a major party; the Republicans.

Posted by: Eric Dondero at December 4, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #197642

Eric Dondero, your facts about the LP are correct. But, the Greens elected a great many of their candidates to offices in the last election. The problem with the LP is their platform - and their candidates, they sound like a philosophy of anarchy - to each his own and dog eat dog.

The Libertarian Party needs to adopt strategies and policies that allow for the nation’s people to feel they won’t be left out of the Libertarian’s plans and programs once they are elected.

All Libertarians say they are for smaller government which includes ending Soc. Sec. and Medicare. But, when asked what will happen to the people who now depend upon the return of their payroll investment in such programs - Libertarians don’t have a palatable answer. And that is why Libertarians can’t seem to get a foot in the door of the American political system on their own.

The Greens on the other hand, weak as their platform is on the issue of international self-defense, have answers to folks who ask about the safety nets, jobs, and retirement for themselves and their children. They even have an answer to external threat, though it is a complicated answer that involves foreign diplomacy and economic interdependence growing as military size is reduced and made far more efficient and effective from a tax dollar point of view. But they do have an answer that is far more palatable to voters than the Libertarians response to ending the safety nets.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #197669

I can remember my grandpa back in 60’s talking about voting a party ticket, maybe it’s just the bowl I swim in but I don’t think too many people do that anymore. This is a good sign. Isn’t the 92’ election and the success of Perot an indicator that a 3rd part is viable?

I think people are afraid to color outside the lines. Perot’s message resonated with enough people that they took a chance on him. If he had been a bit more charismatic, who knows what would have happened.

A question to D.A.N. while I agree with your premise to no RE-elect the people that sell us out, I don’t see your program gaining the traction it needs to create change. Don’t we need to really push for the seperation of politics and money to effect any real change?

JT

Posted by: JayTea at December 4, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #197687

d.a.n. quoted Paul Siegel, who said:

There is no political panacea. Fight for what you believe in within one of the parties.

d.a.n. then replied to him with this:

No, that is the lazy way. Learn to do your thinking for yourself.

It is best to ignore party as much as possible (if not altogether).

Consider the individual candidates’ quailifications.

NOT just party.

First of all d.a.n., I’d love to know how you get away with talking to someone like this, because I truly doubt I could have ever gotten away with telling someone that their beliefs show them to be lazy people who don’t bother to think for themselves. Secondly, what do you think Paul meant by the statement “Fight for what you believe in within one of the parties” if not for many of the very things you are continually advocating for with your bulleted lists and links?
If Paul is going to fight for what he believes in within his party, he’s going to automatically consider a Democratic politicans particular stances on the issues, their voting records, as well as their qualifications. Taking the time to do all that means there is absolutely nothing lazy about his choice, and it is entirely off base for you claim that it is. Furthermore, why should liberals like Paul (and myself) abandon the Democratic Party simply because YOU believe “It is best to ignore party as much as possible (if not altogether)” ?
What exactly could be wrong with true liberals sticking with the Democratic Party when historically it has been the liberal party in America? It wasn’t our choice that the party moved right with the rest of the country after Reagan won in 1980. It wasn’t our choice that the DLC Democrats seized power within our party and that their votes don’t really represent or reflect the wishes of the liberal base. If we choose to fight for what we truly believe in, for what liberals have always believed in (honest representation for the middle class and the poor, civil liberties for all, effective diplomacy in foreign policy, etc.) then why do we deserve to be denigrated by you or anyone else for doing so?

“Don’t pull the party lever like some brainwashed dim-wit.”

How could you talk to Paul this way? And why do you automatically assume that people who have chosen to stay and fight for what they believe in within their party ARE dimwits? Btw, don’t think that some of us haven’t noticed that you very rarely speak as harshly to true conservatives who have chosen to remain Republican and have kept voting for their party, despite the Neocon ideological takeover that again, began with Reagan. Is this maybe because you used to vote Republican yourself?
Anyway, just because you and others have chosen to abandon the two major parties for various reasons, doesn’t mean we all have to do likewise.

On a personal note, you may remember that I myself tried going further left by joining the Greens for a short time, but I soon saw that (at least for me) much of their platform lacked real cohesiveness, as well as what I considered a firm grasp on reality. The Independent Party, the Libertarians and other third parties don’t reflect my long-standing and much considered liberal beliefs. After much thought, I came to where Paul is — feeling that I have to fight to make my life-long party one I can trust and believe in again.
Your political choices are your own, and ours belong to us, d.a.n., and if you expect people to respect your many VOID anti-incumbent comments, you might try using words like “lazy” and “dimwit” only on people who actually deserve them. Paul Siegel certainly isn’t one of them.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 4, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #197699

Adrienne,

First of all, I never called Paul Siegel lazy or a dimwit.
Re-read what I wrote.

Also, I don’t play favorites to any party, and will target partisan warfare/spin wherever it occurs. So your claim that I favor Republicans is nonsense. Just ask Jack and a few other Republicans about that. Also, in the last election I voted for only one Republican and it was because he was an unopposed non-incumbent for the Texas State Senate. I voted for Libertarians, Greens, Democrats, and one Republican. So that pretty much obliterates your theory, eh?

How people vote is their right, and have NEVER said otherwise.

But, how people vote is something we all have an opinion about, and I am entitled to my opinion, and in my opinion, blindly pulling the party-lever is the lazy way.

Anyone that blindly pulls the party lever (and I used to be one of them) and keeps re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians is empowering them to keep ignoring the voters and ensuring the incumbents’ 90% re-election rates, while problems keep growing in number and severity.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 4, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #197706
JayTea wrote: A question to D.A.N. while I agree with your premise to not RE-elect the people that sell us out, I don’t see your program gaining the traction it needs to create change.

JayTea,
I am confident that the ultimate method (i.e. stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians) will be the very method that happens, eventually.

It is the one thing that is almost guaranteed to get traction (eventually).
It is the one thing voters were supposed to be doing all along (regardless of party).
Petty partisan warfare is merely a tool that politicians use to distract voters.
Some day voters will catch onto it and reject it like they now reject discrimination based on race, gender, religion, etc.

When will it finally happen?
Hard to say.
But the driving factor is education.
In a voting nation, education is paramount.
It depends on the voters threshold for pain and misery.
But that pain and misery is of the voters own making.
That is the voters’ education.
Voters will get their education one way or another (as history shows us).
Voters will get their education even if no one tries to speed up that process.
The voters’ education is already in the pipe-line.
Some of the pain and misery they have brought on themselves is already unavoidable.
Massive debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing, entitlements, and unfunded liabilities is catching up to us.

As long as voters can still vote, and get an accurate vote-count, they will grow closer and closer to doing the one simple, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, responsible thing they were supposed to be doing all along, always.
Stop rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them, letting both parties take turns, enjoying their 90% re-election rate and cu$hy, coveted incumbencies.

It will happen eventually, when voters finally get enough.
Sooner would be better than later.
Ingorant Voters = Bad Politicians = Bad Government

Posted by: d.a.n at December 4, 2006 9:08 PM
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